Saturday, October 15, 2005


My university, Tokai Daigaku, is seriously sporty. They have at least one Olympic gold medal (judo) and, even in sports they are not so strong at, they seem frighteningly good. I took a look at their rugby team and decided not to join up. By way of further illustration, the 100 metre record there is 10.05. Yes, 10.05. Not sure I could do that on a motorbike!

Anyway, there is a strange phenomenon associated with the male teams. You hardly ever see them practising without also seeing one or two women students in tracksuits hanging around on the touchlines collecting balls, holding the stopwatch or just looking rather forlornly at the sportsmen doing their stuff. These girls are not to be confused with the really serious sportswomen who abound at Tokai. Though they dress in tracksuits, they never actually participate in the sport. They are just kind of there.

I asked A.. "Ah, yes," she said. "The manejaas! Some girls like doing that sort of thing. If you like washing men's dirty sports gear then maybe its fun. They attach themselves to the teams and they get given titles like 'manejaa' and just help out." I'm not sure A. was being entirely fair on the 'manejaas' but her take was that it was a way a certain type of girl tries to get her mits on a hunky sports type. Can't help thinking that, if I was the captain of the Rugby team, I'd want to be going out with the captain of the netball team or the intellectual type at the front at the front of the lecture hall, not the "manejaa". Anyway, suppose it take all types.

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